Brand management

7 steps to overcome critical rebrand challenges

By agreeing on what KPIs your team will track before pulling the trigger on your new brand, you can ensure you receive feedback from the start, so you can make improvements depending on what your data is telling you.

A rebrand is a pivotal step in any organisation’s journey – one that can breathe new life into your business when done successfully.

While it can feel daunting from the outset, keep in mind that 74% of S&P 100 companies underwent a rebrand in their first 7 years of existence. Microsoft’s well-known multicoloured window logo is the company’s fifth since its formation in 1975, each change representing a shift in brand strategy and visual identity.

So why do companies do it? A rebrand offers an opportunity to reshape their brand messaging for an up-to-date target audience. To break into new markets, refocus their marketing efforts and enhance their bottom line. For recognisable names like Burberry, Old Spice and Lego, a well-structured rebrand revitalised their image.

However, even when a rebrand is the right call, numerous challenges can cause irreversible damage to your brand equity and harm relationships with your customers. It’s a big leap, and never one to be taken lightly.

If your brand is considering a big change, or if you’re already deep in the rebrand implementation process, this ultimate guide outlines the 7 standout challenges you must overcome and gives you the solutions for smooth, successful brand management:

  1. Rebranding for the wrong reasons
  2. Securing customer buy-in
  3. Mapping out your rebrand’s scale
  4. Internally communicating your rebrand
  5. Measuring your success
  6. Locking down logistics
  7. Handling the brand relaunch

Challenge #1: Rebranding for the wrong reasons

Your brand identity goes beyond the design of your logo or your colour palette – it’s the essence of your emotional connection between you and your customers, employees and the wider world. It’s your company vision, it’s your personality, it’s how people understand YOU.

Brand recognition shouldn’t be toyed with – it takes years of effort to build and can disappear in an instant. That’s why the vast majority of successful rebrands overcome the first hurdle: identifying a legitimate need to update their image.

Take Old Spice as an example. When its name had become intrinsically linked to the older gentleman, it restricted their ability to engage with younger audiences and made them appear “uncool”. Their 2010 rebrand with the memorable “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign addressed this stagnation and brought their brand into the modern day.

On the other side, you have American retailer GAP. After a short, sudden decline in sales, they invested an estimated $100 million on rebranding their iconic blue logo into one that was more high-brow. This went against the values of convenience and low prices customers expected from GAP, meaning the change was immediately rejected and abandoned.

These competing examples demonstrate the importance of rebranding for the right reasons:

To make sure a complete rebranding campaign is the right step forward, as opposed to a less comprehensive refresh, engage in objective conversations with your shareholders, employees, customers and beyond. Active stakeholder engagement is essential early on to approach this question with a clear, open mind, enabling you to determine whether a rebrand offers more promise than problems.

Moreover, a comprehensive brand audit can identify the strengths and weaknesses of your current branding, empowering you with insight to either justify the importance of a rebrand or bring you back from the brink of a costly, fruitless endeavour.

Challenge #2: Securing buy-in from customers

One of the biggest challenges for any rebranding strategy is getting customers on board with your new changes.

When it takes between 5 and 7 impressions for a customer to recall a brand from memory, getting them to forget this and embrace new visual elements and communications can be a tall order.

This is where GAP’s rebrand fell apart and why Tropicana lost $30 million after changing the beloved packaging of their orange cartons in 2009. They failed to talk to their customers and prepare them for the transition, meaning their rebrand fell flat, losing face in their target markets.

How you overcome customer perceptions and facilitate this transition to your new brand identity will play a key role in the success of your rebrand. 

Overcoming this challenge starts by conducting thorough market research and surveys to sense how current and prospective customers view your brand. This can provide solid, tangible feedback on what people want to see from a revamped version of your business.

Furthermore, carrying over older brand elements into this new vision can ease the transition for customers and maintain familiarity. Especially for strong brands, this staggered approach can help preserve loyalty while you simultaneously target new audiences.

Challenge #3: Mapping the scale of your rebrand

Particularly for globally recognised brands with a presence on multiple marketing channels, the scale of a rebrand can be daunting. Approaching it without a full grasp of what’s required can add innumerable costs and delays to the process.

Moreover, a disorganised approach could mean smaller visual elements, such as letterheads or email signatures, are overlooked. This can lead to outdated graphics, logos or imagery remaining in circulation in your marketing, sowing confusion, raising distrust and harming your brand consistency.

The solution? Granularly map out every facet of your brand and your broadcast channels. Engage your marketing teams to ensure no stone is unturned during this transition, and collate everything identified into one unified, shared document. 

Once your transition plan is complete and executed, utilise a Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform to contain all refreshed brand imagery and collateral. This technology will give everyone in your organisation access to the latest resources, while simultaneously allowing you to lock away any remnants of the old branding so it can never accidentally find its way out.

Challenge #4: Internally communicating your rebrand

While your rebrand might be aimed towards your customers, it’s also necessary that your team members are on board.

After all, the people at the heart of your business are responsible for carrying your new marketing materials, voice and values to your target audiences. If they’re unaware or unsure about the new brand, this could affect how they communicate it. Long-term employees may default to the old regime, confusing your brand alignment.

When you consider that 92% of consumers trust word of mouth over any other form of branded promotion, you see how important it is to get everyone connected to your business speaking the same language when it comes to your rebrand.

For international organisations, this is even more pressing. Without a firm communication strategy across your locations, the implementation of your rebrand can be incredibly slow, convoluted and inconsistent. Your branding on one side of the world could be completely different on the other – in an increasingly connected planet, that will be picked up on quickly.

How do you address this problem? Setting up a dedicated brand hub at the centre of your rebrand can help ensure it’s understood and applied universally. Within this digital resource, any team member can be educated on brand guidelines, exemplar assets and more to give them complete clarity over how your brand should now be presented.

This single source of truth, reinforced by wider brand management solutions, will go a long way in keeping your teams aligned and educated on your current brand identity. Rather than an uncoordinated, haphazard approach, this centralised, structured method can make the adjustment period for your employees much simpler.

Challenge #5: Quantifying the success of your rebrand

While rebrands can help companies appeal to new audiences, reposition their place in the market and address negative brand perceptions – success isn’t a foregone conclusion.

Before breaking ground on your rebrand, you should determine what a successful outcome will look like when you go live. While there’s sure to be plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest whether your rebrand has been well received or not, data is the definitive marker for success.

So, what metrics should you keep in mind once your materials are out in the world? The simple answer is it depends. Different companies will commission a rebrand for different reasons; some might want to reach new audiences, while others aim to accommodate the launch of a new product.

Whatever metrics are most appropriate to track, make sure you’re assessing everything from a financial perspective. These projects eat up a significant chunk of your marketing budget, so higher-ups will want to know whether these adjustments delivered a return on investment.

Challenge #6: Locking down the logistics of your rebrand

It’s easy to get lost in the logistical demands of a rebrand. For instance, if your brand name changes, is this available as a trademark? Have your new designs and visuals been communicated to your packaging partners or external agencies?

These hurdles, be they legal formalities or gaps in your asset creation processes, can do more than delay your rebrand – they can place your organisation at risk of liability breaches and fracture relationships with your partners.

To ensure the logistical side of your rebrand is completed in full, use this checklist to stay on track:

Beyond this, your style guides, website imagery, social media assets, letterheads and more will need to be reworked. Many organisations will outsource this to an external agency, but this can be expensive, potentially resulting in partners failing to treat your branding and assets with the same attention to detail you would.

To take a more cost-conscious, in-house approach, building and using intelligent design templates can make it straightforward to execute your brand refresh. With an effective, intuitive solution, anyone in your team can play an active role in creating studio-quality assets for any channel, so you are fully prepared with collateral for the launch of your new identity.

Challenge #7: The all-important brand relaunch

All that’s left now is to launch your rebrand. But with competition for your customers’ attention and loyalty fiercer than ever, revealing your new identity involves more than just a flick of a switch.

To maximise the chances that your new direction is met with intrigue and excitement instead of concern or confusion, it’s hard to overstate the importance of a well-coordinated rebrand rollout campaign.

Get everything ready for the big day by creating a need-to-know sequence, so your team can roll your rebrand out to each audience in order of importance, from employees and customers right the way through to your suppliers and the media. Facilitating this with campaign execution tools can add a tangible structure that keeps your work on track.

Next, establish a narrative behind your new identity. You want to make it as clear to your audience why you have taken this step, and how it will specifically benefit them.

Then, devote time to forecasting (or hyping up) your new rebrand. Audiences are generally resistant to change at the best of times, and hitting them with a top-to-bottom rebrand out of nowhere is likely to stoke confusion, frustration and negativity. Creating a gradual build-up with teases of the new image allows them to adapt to the change over time.

Finally, create a communication strategy for the initial days, weeks and months after launch to reinforce your new brand in your customers’ minds. This can quickly breed familiarity and eventually distance your audience from your former identity.

Unlock the full potential of your next rebrand

For many companies, rebranding has been the key to their ongoing success. They enable organisations to appeal to new customers, tap into fresh markets, and build recognition among key audiences.

But creating a new identity for your brand is no easy feat. We hope this guide has enabled you to better understand whether rebranding is the right decision for you, and overcome the multitude of challenges that can derail the debut of your new image so you can make this investment a genuine success.

Ready to unleash your brand consistently on every channel? Empower your people with the Papirfly platform - CTA link to services

Employer brand

Transforming recruitment with custom templates: A guide to scalable employer branding

In today’s highly competitive landscape, the best talent doesn’t just arrive at your website ready to apply. To truly succeed, you need to tell candidates why they should consider you for their next career move.

In the same way a customer must be nurtured along their journey to buy, modern candidates must be guided along the path to apply, led by content that places your employer brand at the centre of every conversation.

From social media posts that highlight your core values to prospects, or onboarding documents that emphasise your company’s values to your latest recruits, a constant flow of compelling content keeps applicants on the hook. 

But how do you maintain the quality and brand consistency today’s job seekers expect across every touchpoint, within increasingly tighter schedules and budgets? How can you efficiently and practically scale your employer brand content with your changing talent acquisition requirements?

The answer: investing in custom design templates. Below, we explain what they are, how they can revolutionise your recruitment strategy, and the key signs of great template creation software.

What are custom design templates?

Think of custom design templates as a constant head start for any kind of on-brand asset creation. A framework based on your brand guidelines, enabling your designers, recruiters and wider employer brand team to produce high-quality content with speed, precision and assurance.

To achieve this, effective design templates include locked-down elements, such as asset dimensions, logo positions and design layouts. These cannot be moved or changed, so users stick within the fixed parameters of your guidelines.

From here, they can then switch out customisable elements, such as calls-to-action (CTAs), colour schemes, imagery, copy and more with creative freedom, knowing that they cannot steer far from your brand identity.

As you can imagine, having access to these branded templates can massively ramp up the production of recruitment ads, job listings, corporate communications and much, much more. The right templating tool is a real game-changer – giving your hiring teams the confidence and skills they need to break away from costly third-party agencies, time-consuming approval processes and design limitations.

What are custom templates for employer branding and recruitment - Infographic image

How can custom templates help with your recruitment efforts?

When you consider that 71% of recruitment-focused teams face challenges creating the content they need, custom templates can be a powerful tool to create the variety of collateral required to properly promote your employer brand. 

This is because design templates can:

Recruitment campaign content creation challenges and statistics for time taken, lack of skills and budget - Source: ContentStadium

Expedite the creation of personalised social content

In our increasingly digital world, it’s no surprise that 79% of applicants turn to social media platforms to conduct their job searches. But the breadth of these channels, with distinct optimal posting frequencies, can make it a challenge to generate the content required to stay top of candidates’ minds.

To tap into this marketplace of millions, customisable templates empower your teams to produce on-brand, studio-quality assets in minutes. 

With elements like CTAs, colour schemes and imagery able to be instantly swapped out to suit the nuances of a particular region, platform or branch of the business, intelligent templates make it possible to produce well-optimised social media posts in a truly scalable way, without sacrificing consistency or impact. 

Empower employees to become brand advocates

While a strong employer brand instils confidence in your potential candidates, it’s hard to ignore that 76% of individuals are more likely to trust content shared by a brand’s employees over assets from a brand itself.

To allow your most passionate employees to champion your culture, values and company mission through compelling, highly engaging material, custom templates give your strongest advocates an avenue to express their views and build trust, without compromising your brand’s identity.

By allowing employees to follow a helpful framework, even those with zero design skills can be empowered to develop exceptional assets for their personal profiles. This means your employer brand can reach a wider audience in a more targeted, organic way than simply through your company pages.

Recruitment and employee advocacy statistic - Socially engaged employees 58% more likely to attract top talent - Source: LinkedIn

Create a full suite of onboarding content

If you’re at the stage where your job openings are filled and your new hires are well on their way to becoming full-fledged team members, it can be easy to direct your employer branding technology toward the next campaign. 

But in recent years, so many organisations have lost potential hires at the final hurdle due to a negative or frustrating candidate experience. To ensure your employer brand is just as strong inside as out, customisable templates allow for the quick, easy and scalable creation of company manuals, brand guidelines and other essential internal communications.

With these templates, you can guarantee that your new hires have the information they need to start work swiftly and confidently. And, to give them a real sense of belonging from the outset, these can also allow you to easily personalise standard guidebooks and manuals for each recruit.

Streamline video production

Over 65% of businesses use video in their recruitment efforts. You can see why when 43% of candidates say they’re more likely to apply for a job promoted through video content.

Able to turn this traditionally long, costly and intensive process into something effortless, custom templates are a lifeline for any forward-thinking recruitment team eager to stake their claim in the video-centric future of search.

The right custom template software will include tools to make dynamic, on-brand edits in a standardised format, so you can produce this eye-grabbing content with greater ease.

Video and employer branding statistic - 42% of employees use video content to get a feel for company culture - Source: Seenit

5 benefits of using custom templates for recruitment

1. Speed up time-to-market

Filling an open position takes an average of 44 days. When you factor in the weeks, months or even years it can take for a new hire to settle in, skill up, and reach the desired level of competency, talent acquisition is a lengthy and disruptive process for any organisation.

Quicker and more scalable asset creation with design templates enables your team to produce videos, job adverts, office posters, employee testimonials and other collateral as quickly as possible – especially important if you’re running a high-volume recruitment campaign.

Time limits for marketers statistic - 26.5% of digital marketers struggle with time constraints - Source: LOCALiQ

2. Achieve complete consistency 

In a world with more opportunities for candidates than ever, first impressions matter. Inconsistent visuals, incoherent Employer Value Propositions (EVPs), fluctuating tones of voice – they simply don’t cut it with today’s savvy job seekers. 

Inspire the right kind of relationship with your ideal candidates from the very beginning. Intelligent templating allows you to align every piece of collateral with your unique brand guidelines. This helps you secure complete coherence in any design, across any platform, at any time.

More job opportunities recruitment statistic - Global remote job postings have risen by 10% since 2023 - Source: BloomBerry

But how do you ensure that the employee experience meets expectations? While there’s much to consider, custom templating tools are unquestionably important, unlocking the creation of studio-quality onboarding documents that prioritise what matters to your candidates – be it DEIB and employer branding, work-life balance or monetary perks.

Plus, with the effort behind the creation of employer brand collateral reduced and shared among your entire workforce, your employer brand specialists and senior leadership team can concentrate on establishing initiatives that propel your company culture forward.

SAP brand success story - How SAP united their employer brand to acquire top talent in multiple regions with Papirfly - Link to read story

What to look for in the right template creation software

Now you know what customisable templates are, how they can be applied to your talent acquisition efforts, and the plethora of advantages they offer, there’s just one final topic we want to discuss – the key signs to look out for in template creation software.

Although any templating tool can improve the quality, consistency, cost and time of your asset creation, not all software is created equal. If you’re keen to truly revolutionise your recruitment efforts, here are our 7 must-have features to prioritise in your search:

1. Limitless on-brand asset creation

The last thing your team members need is software that stifles your output and limits creativity. When looking for templating tools that can help you find, engage and attract the best talent, it’s essential you find a solution that allows you to create on-brand assets without restriction. No limits, no monthly credits – just the means to produce any volume of assets whenever required.

2. Multichannel compatibility

To reach your target audience wherever they are, it’s also important to have template creation software that can accommodate asset creation for any medium. Be it graphics for LinkedIn, videos for career pages, banners for job fairs, or posters for internal communication – ensure the solution you invest in enables you to create templates for any purpose.

3. Straightforward functionality

Creating and executing professional, persuasive recruitment campaigns demands an intuitive templating system. One your recruiters and advocates can easily pick up and use whenever they need to produce effective, on-brand content at pace.

Accessibility and functionality should therefore be top priorities in your template search, so anyone in your team can be elevated to create without a steep learning curve.

4. Approval measures

For complete confidence that everything your recruitment teams or employee advocates produce is in service of your long-term business goals, acquiring a platform with approval measures can be incredibly advantageous.

With these extra security measures in place informing users of what’s off limits, and a seamless way to send assets through for final sign-off, your recruitment campaigns reach audiences far sooner.

5. Streamlined localisation

Responding to recruitment needs in any region is a must for any global brand – and something only possible when you opt for a platform with dedicated, time-saving localisation tools. Look for a platform that instantly enables you to switch up languages and cultural imagery, so you can meet the demands and sensibilities of your local markets.

6. Cloud-based accessibility

Whether you’re a local business of dozens, or a conglomerate of thousands, manually installing software to employee machines one by one is a long and tedious task. Avoid this logistical headache by choosing a recruitment template creation tool backed by cloud software, meaning your worldwide teams can access it with minimal fuss.

7. Wider brand management features

Finally, while consistent, high-quality content is an important pillar of your recruitment campaigns, it’s far from the only part you have to consider when it comes to building, administering and evolving your employer brand. 

By broadening your search to an all-in-one brand management platform featuring customisable design templates, you can also effectively educate your users on the foundations of your employer brand, store all collateral in a dedicated DAM system, and gain a bird’s-eye view over the execution and performance of your campaigns.

7 must-have features in a brand template creation tool - Papirfly infographic image

Launch a new era of success and scalability for your recruitment campaigns

When it comes to recruitment, content is crucial. It’s how your employer branding stands out, captures the attention of top talent, and ultimately fills your open roles. But not any content will do. In today’s competitive landscape, potential employees have become increasingly selective about who they work for. 

Customisable templates give your recruitment teams and wider employees the keys to create captivating, consistent content on an otherwise unachievable scale. Look into the options available to understand how they can drastically reduce the costs, time and resources involved in building professional recruitment collateral, and make meeting your ever-growing recruitment demands a seamless formality.

Ready to improve the ROI of your next recruitment campaign? Empower your people with Papirfly - CTA link to Papirfly brand management software platform
Brand management

The global brand manager’s ultimate guide for unbreakable brand guidelines

Global brand consistency is the aim of any proficient brand manager – a coherent, harmonious image and identity across all touchpoints that your target audience understands, recognises and resonates with.

Yet achieving this is easier said than done. With an abundance of marketing channels and multiple teams scattered across the globe, it’s easy for inconsistencies to creep into your communications. When this happens, your audiences lose trust in your brand’s identity, impacting their loyalty and willingness to engage with your organisation.

In this ongoing battle to ensure brand consistency, brand guidelines are one of the biggest weapons in your arsenal. Defining your vision, style, tone and much more, your guidelines are the key to educating the people responsible for creating and promoting your brand, and keeping your brand assets uniform on every channel and in every location.

However, the quality and effectiveness of brand guidelines vary from company to company. Some keep brand image locked down; others simply gather dust in a file cabinet.

In this ultimate guide, we harness our decades of experience in helping brands stay consistent to share our tips for truly unbreakable, actionable brand guidelines.

What are brand guidelines?

Your brand guidelines are the heart and soul of your company’s identity. It’s the manual that dictates your brand usage across all areas. It captures the essence of what your brand represents and its unique personality. It tells the brand story that forges emotional connections with your audiences, both internal and external.

Whether you’d rather refer to this as a brand style guide, brand manual or brand kit, the principle remains the same – your guidelines are the foundation for absolute brand consistency:

  • They deliver greater quality control, ensuring all content is produced with your brand’s reputation and identity in mind
  • They increase the understanding of your corporate branding across your marketers, graphic designers and wider staff
  • They enable better brand recognition by guaranteeing a consistent, coherent visual identity across your collateral

Or at least they should. While over 85% of organisations say they have brand guidelines, only 30% are enforced properly. Problems such as a lack of awareness, poor communication and inaccessibility commonly prevent guidelines from having their desired impact, enabling inconsistencies in visual elements, tone of voice and other critical areas.

When brand design guidelines are ignored or misrepresented, your consistency – and consequently your overall company performance – suffers.

Is brand consistency that important?

Imagine a coworker who is always smartly dressed. Tailored suit, tucked-in shirt, polished shoes – everything neatly aligned. One day they come to work with messy hair, stains on their shirt and worn shoes. You would probably be confused and want to know if something was wrong.

The same logic applies to your brand and your customers. Your branding is the personification of your organisation, what people come to know and love. If that image frequently changes, it becomes impossible for your audiences to build trust as they don’t know where you stand.

This is why consistent, harmonious brands enjoy 33% revenue increases over inconsistent brands. Or why consistent brands are 3-4 times more likely to have excellent visibility in their market.

Consistency breeds confidence from your consumers, fosters loyalty, and builds lasting customer relationships. Your brand guidelines are the lynchpin of realising these benefits.

Cementing your identity before creating your brand guidelines

Before you can write up your brand guidelines, there’s some initial groundwork you and your team must take care of. Whether you’re undertaking a rebranding campaign or establishing guidelines in a long-established company, the first step is to cement your brand identity.

After all, if you aren’t clear about what your brand represents and how it should be portrayed, what exactly are your guidelines protecting? To get your guidelines off on the right foot, here are the formative steps you should know:

Conduct a thorough brand audit

Begin by examining your current brand elements, communications and collateral in a comprehensive brand audit. This should give you a sense of what personality your brand is projecting to your audience: is it coherent on all touchpoints? Is it aligned with what we want our brand to represent?

It’s vital your audit is approached objectively. You must be honest about whether your current messaging represents your brand in the manner you intend. Canvass your stakeholders, customers, employees and more to build this universal view of your brand’s perception.

Your analysis will establish the strengths and weaknesses of your current branding, and what your brand guidelines must include to present your brand correctly.

Understand your target audience

Your brand is designed to foster a connection with your customers, employees and the wider world. So, it’s important your brand guidelines are grounded in what your audience wants and expects from your organisation.

To build your buyer personas, consider the following:

  • What are their demographics and characteristics?
  • What are their habits?
  • What are their concerns and pain points?
  • What values do they care about most?
  • What are their hobbies and interests?
  • Where do they look for information?

Examine your competitors

Competitor analysis is vital when forming your brand identity to establish areas where you can set yourself apart from the crowd. 

Examining their colour schemes, tone of voice, mission statements, social media platforms and beyond can inspire ideas for your own branding, while pinpointing unique characteristics, visuals and offerings that will help you stand out.

Determine your visual identity

As prominent graphic designer Paul Rand once said: design is the silent ambassador of your brand. When you have audited your brand and researched your audience/competitors, you should nail down the visual elements that will encapsulate your brand’s identity.

This takes your brand from conception to reality, forming the bulk of your brand guidelines. You may enlist the services of an external design agency to bring these initial assets to life, which you can later harness for wide-scale asset creation through branded templates.

What should be included in brand guidelines?

This is the fundamental question in your creation of brand identity guidelines. After cementing the essence of your branding and visual presentation, what must you include to ensure this is properly communicated across all your marketing?

Clarity and comprehensiveness are the order of the day here. While you want your guidelines to be digestible and accessible, the more detail you include here, the less room there is for your teams to misinterpret and misrepresent your brand in future.

Brand vision and mission statements

Your brand vision and mission are your brand’s purpose and how it aspires to achieve that goal. They’re the core values that tell your customers, employees and beyond who you are, what you represent and where you’re going.

Consider these as people’s introduction to your brand and the foundation for your relationship with them. That’s why your vision and mission statements should sit at the front of your brand guidelines, so those using the guide can understand this immediately.

The Nike swoosh. McDonald’s’ golden arches. The Starbucks Siren. Your brand logo is the visual face of your brand, and one of the most important tools in building recognition and brand equity among your audiences.

However, your brand guidelines should not simply display and explain the rationale of your logo. It must set parameters for how your logo should be used in all brand assets. How large should it be? Where should it be positioned? Does it look different on a letterhead than a social media post?

In your guidelines, include all approved versions of your logo and include the following:

  • Different sizes and layouts of your main logo
  • The white space required around your logo
  • Approved colour variations beyond your main logo
  • Reversed and mono versions of your logo
  • Responsive logos for smaller screens (mobiles, tablets, etc.)

Iconography

Icons are important parts of your branding as they can be recognisable across different languages and cultures in a way that written text cannot.

Your brand guidelines should identify aspects like the size of your icons, what they indicate and situations where they are appropriate for use. If you use outlined icons or solid icons, this preference should also be pinpointed here as well.

Colour palette

Colour is arguably the most powerful means for people to recall your brand. In fact, colour is estimated to increase brand recognition by 80%. Therefore, your distinct, unique colour palette must be clearly outlined within your guidelines.

Most brands will typically choose three or four primary colours of different hues for different purposes:

  • A lighter colour for backgrounds
  • A darker shade for text
  • A neutral hue
  • A flashy colour that pops off screens

Dutch brewing company Heineken follows this pattern in their own guidelines:

When presenting your colour palette in your brand style guide, precisely indicate your primary and secondary colours, and any distinction between colours used on the web (RGB colours) and in print (CMYK colours). Also ensure you include the following details:

  • Their colour match, using their Pantone name and number
  • Their CMYK number
  • Their RGB colour and HEX code

Typography

Typography is the variety of font styles your brand uses in its copy. This could be a single “family” of fonts, or include a mixture of styles you want to use across your digital and print channels.

Consistency is key here, so it’s not ideal to have numerous wildly different fonts. A good rule of thumb for brand managers is to use a different typography for your logo than your “main” font style. This creates a contrast that stands out more to audiences.

Within your brand guidelines, outline the typography used for different types of text – headings, paragraphs, bullet points, etc. – as well as the preferred alignment of text and spacing between words and paragraphs.

Tone of voice

Your tone of voice describes how your brand communicates with your audiences and influences how they think about you through your messaging.

This is often the segment of brand guidelines most open to misinterpretation. To ensure that doesn’t happen:

  • Use a tone of voice scale, including examples of the tone used for greetings, sign-offs and other key CTAs
  • Alternatively, a tone of voice table can illustrate your various voice characteristics and when they should be employed
  • Provide best practice examples to guide your copywriters on what is acceptable and what isn’t
  • Align your tone with your brand personality, connecting it to 3-5 adjectives that underlie your core values

Imagery

The imagery section of your brand guidelines should guide your whole team on what types of photos, illustrations, designs and more are appropriate for your brand.

You can make the distinction between good and bad imagery clear in your guidelines in several ways:

  • Best practice – Show examples from your collection of photos, illustrations and other imagery that performed well for your brand, demonstrating to designers which ones fit your range of channels
  • Aspiration – Don’t have an internal collection to lean on? The same effect can be achieved by using imagery that you’ve found from brands that inspire your organisation
  • Mood board – Collect images and themes that convey the feelings you want to get across in your brand imagery

Signage

Whether the signage is physical posters, banners and billboards, or digital bulletins on retail websites and beyond, these will have specific dimensions and elements that you’ll want to ensure stay consistent across all locations.

Are your signs flat, plastic and vinyl? Are they built up and illuminated? Are they static or animated? All of these elements should be highlighted in your brand guidelines.

Guides for physical and digital marketing channels

Finally, you should dedicate part of your brand guidelines to clarifying your various physical and digital marketing channels. Denoting how your logos, colours, visual elements and more appear on specific channels ensures a coherent, harmonious flow of content on these platforms.

Perhaps dedicate a page or two of your master guidelines to each channel to illustrate nuances or restrictions that differ from your core guidelines. Alternatively, you may want to produce distinct brand management guidelines for each platform, which can be incredibly useful if you have professionals dedicated to different areas of your marketing ecosystem.

Making your brand guidelines accessible and actionable

While nailing the components and structure of your brand guidelines is no doubt essential, equally as crucial – and often overlooked – is the accessibility of your guidelines.

What’s the point of having a thorough, informative, end-to-end guide if no one knows where it lives or follows it? That’s why there is such a discrepancy in the number of organisations that have brand guidelines and the number that use brand guidelines.

In order to achieve the all-encompassing consistency your brand demands and your audiences expect, making your guidelines easy to access and understand is essential. Here’s how you achieve it:

Structure and design your guidelines for ease of use

First, take time to design and lay out your guidelines for maximum engagement and comprehension. There’s a lot of information to be communicated here, but a guide with wall-to-wall text will likely inspire eye rolls and shoulder shrugs.

Remember, this is a resource that a brand-new designer, marketer or agency will use to grasp your brand and produce assets to the standard you expect. If it’s confusing, bland or poorly structured, people won’t follow it closely.

For truly accessible brand guidelines, consider the following:

  • Be concise yet informative in each segment, only providing as much information as necessary without going overboard with text
  • Use imagery and interactive elements to engage readers more effectively
  • Rely on simple, easy-to-digest language so anyone, regardless of their design knowledge, can follow along
  • Create checklists alongside your guidelines to offer step-by-step instructions for how to apply and present your branding

Here are 3 great examples of organisations with engaging, digestible brand guidelines:

Ollo

Ollo’s creative, colourful brand guidelines include an interactive game demonstrating how users can manipulate their logo, making this segment more engaging and understandable.

Wolf Circus

Wolf Circus’s guidelines leave no confusion over the colours and imagery at the core of their brand identity. It comprehensively covers everything from the company’s mission statement and logo variants to specific campaign guidelines, while maintaining a minimalist and clear structure.

NJORD

NJORD’s minimalist approach gives readers everything they need in a straightforward, no-nonsense way. It doesn’t skimp out on relevant details, delivering everything someone would need to produce their array of digital and print assets.

Harness the power of video in your guidelines

92.3% of users watch videos every week. It’s the most powerful form of online content and people retain more information from it than something they simply read or hear.

Converting your written brand guidelines into a series of video explainers and tutorials can help users easily understand your brand identity and its usage. Think of it as a “show not tell” approach that can reduce the risk of misinterpretation.

Translate your guidelines in relevant languages

For global brands with worldwide locations, ensure there are versions of your brand guidelines written in every relevant language. This removes any jeopardy of people misunderstanding the instructions in your guidelines, and makes these much easier to follow for your teams across the globe.

Establish a digital “home” for your brand guidelines

Where you house your brand guidelines is crucial – it cannot simply be a single printed booklet in your office. While you can produce printed guidelines for all personnel, this is not exactly cost-effective or environmentally friendly. So, we recommend establishing an online brand portal to contain your digital brand guidelines.

Taking this approach ensures:

  • Users worldwide can access, read and download guidelines with a couple of clicks
  • You can incorporate interactive features and videos within your style guides
  • Any adjustments and updates to your guidelines can be applied instantly without any administrative headaches

Create a single source of truth for brand assets

As your brand assets offer the clearest guide to how your branding should be portrayed across all marketing channels, having these contained in one intuitive location helps you lock down consistency.

Investing in a standalone Digital Asset Management (DAM) system, or as part of a more comprehensive brand management platform, can make it far simpler for your teams to locate exemplar assets to use as a template for future campaigns.

Turn your brand guidelines into brand templates

Speaking of templates, the best way to ensure your guidelines are steadfastly applied throughout your brand assets is by making these the framework for dedicated design templates.

Creating templates for each type of asset you require, constructed under your brand guidelines, makes it impossible for designers to steer beyond these boundaries. This can lock down the size and position of visual elements, typography and much more, meaning people don’t have to study your guidelines meticulously to apply them.

Furthermore, high-quality template software empowers anyone on your team – not just those with a design background – to create content, completely secure in the knowledge that everything produced is 100% brand-consistent.

Control your brand like never before with unbreakable brand guidelines

Now that you know the essence of great brand guidelines, we hope you can use this blog to take your own guidelines to the next level.

Making these as engaging, comprehensive and accessible as possible for your workforce is critical to always communicating the right messages to your audiences, leaving zero room for inconsistencies.

By applying the techniques and tips above, you set your teams up for a future of consistent, coherent marketing campaigns, and build a strong brand that is understood, trusted and beloved by customers, employees and others globally.

Want to enhance the quality, consistency and performance of retail marketing? Take your retail marketing to the next level with the Papirfly brand management platform – cross-sell and CTA to Papirfly website

Employer brand

DEIB in the workplace: Top trends to activate an inclusive employer brand

In the relentless pursuit of top talent, few things capture the imagination of modern candidates and employees more than a diverse, inclusive workplace.

Especially among the latest generation of recruits, a culture of belonging and tolerance plays a huge part in where they choose to work. According to research by Glassdoor, approximately two-thirds of job candidates seek out employers with distinctly diverse workforces.

This intent has given rise to an increasingly adopted term: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB). For today’s company executives and employer brand managers, this is an acronym you must become fully familiar with to maximise your recruitment and retention efforts.

In this helpful guide, we outline what DEIB means, highlight its importance to the attractiveness of your employer brand, and share our top DEIB trends for 2024 to make diversity and inclusion centrepieces of your talent attraction strategies.

Defining DEIB: What is Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging?

DEIB stands for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, four concepts at the heart of a fair, equitable and all-embracing organisation. To properly define DEIB, it’s best to examine each component separately:

Diversity

Diversity is all about ensuring everyone is represented in your workplace. Age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, economic background – a truly diverse workforce contains a healthy mix of these and other factors.

Diversity is incredibly valuable to encourage different viewpoints and gain unique perspectives within a company. It’s also beneficial for expanding your talent pool, building team camaraderie and developing a better understanding across your diverse customer base.

Equity

Equity means affording the same opportunities for career progression to all employees, regardless of their backgrounds. If an employee has the requisite skills, works hard and develops over time, there should be no barrier to success.

Equity also means that each team member should have access to the right resources to do their jobs to the best of their ability. Fundamentally, a focus on equity ensures a fair, impartial work environment.

Inclusion

Inclusion ensures that every employee or candidate feels welcome, accepted and valued by the people around them and their company as a whole. Do co-workers uplift each other? Is feedback provided constructively? Do people feel involved in their work environment?

Examples of inclusivity in the workplace include gender-neutral restrooms, flexible and remote work inclusion, and celebrations for cultural holidays and traditions. These and further inclusivity-driven measures often inspire higher productivity, stronger performance and greater employee retention.

Belonging

Belonging centres around the individual employee experience. If a workplace is truly inclusive, fair and diverse, an employee should feel as though they belong. They should feel valued, that they contribute to the company, and are respected by their colleagues.

When your employees feel welcomed, they come to work excited, engaged and enthusiastic, with a better opinion of your company and a desire to reach their full potential.

DEI vs DEIB: What’s the difference?

DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) is a well-established term in the global employment landscape, and is the base that DEIB has evolved from. So are they essentially the same, or does the ‘B’ make a big difference?

It’s a little more than that. DEIB is the acknowledgement that belonging is the end goal of effective diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Belonging is the feeling an employee should have if a company is truly inclusive.

Extending conventional DEI practices into the modern DEIB framework places the individual employee experience firmly in focus. It ensures that every initiative is underscored to make the workplace safer, kinder and more comfortable for everyone, so that each employee feels at home in the organisation.

The importance of DEIB in attracting, recruiting and retaining today’s top candidates

We’ve touched on this already, but the importance of DEIB for today’s generation of employees cannot be overstated. 

Truly committing to DEIB strategies and dedicating the time to establishing an inclusive workplace culture has ripple effects that unlock numerous benefits for your organisation. Here are just some of the ways it makes a huge difference:

Engages Millennial and Gen Z candidates

As noted earlier, DEIB is a major incentive for the latest generations of job candidates. 73% of Gen Z employees and 68% of Millennial employees say they prioritise DEI programs when choosing a company to work for.

Communicating and demonstrating your dedication to this cause – be it through specific DEIB training programs or as part of your wider company culture – will put you in a stronger position to hire than your less progressive competitors.

Increases brand reputation

Your brand’s reputation says a lot to prospective candidates. When polled, approximately 70% of recruits said they would reject job offers from companies with negative reputations, even if they were unemployed. To ensure your company’s reputation is on the trajectory for success, it’s important that DEIB plays a big role in your day-to-day operations.

If reviews on your Glassdoor profiles are littered with accusations of biases, favouritism, unfair pay or discrimination, the best candidates will look elsewhere.

Raises employee retention

According to Equalture, workplace and recruitment diversity can significantly reduce employee turnover and improve retention by over 68%.

When your staff feel included, accepted and comfortable in their environment, they’re far less likely to seek other opportunities. Focusing on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging cultivates these feelings, so you can hold onto your top-performing talent for longer.

Boosts productivity and employee engagement

Creating an environment that naturally fosters a sense of belonging helps people work their best. When people feel happy, motivated and welcomed in their jobs, productivity rises and performance improves, leading to better business outcomes.

For instance, inclusive teams are estimated to be 35% more productive than those lacking this essential element. Furthermore, Millennials are 83% more likely to be engaged at work at inclusive companies.

Inspires creativity and innovation

With a diverse, multifaceted workforce, you have a melting pot of ideas and experiences that you can harness to drive your brand forward. 

Without this variety of perspectives, you get homogenous ideas and a stale work environment. Company growth stagnates and your staff feel stuck in place. With this in mind, it’s not surprising to learn that inclusive companies are nearly twice as likely to be innovators in their space.

Enhances decision-making

Greater communication and sharing of unique ideas leads to better decision-making. By exploring a problem from multiple angles with different viewpoints, you can reach a more considered, strategic solution.

As they say, two heads are better than one. And the stats back this up – diverse teams are 87% better at making decisions than non-diverse teams.

Improves financial performance

What about the bottom line? Focusing on DEIB has unlocked significant financial benefits for organisations across the globe. Inclusive companies generate over twice the cash flow per employee, while diverse, inclusive leadership generates 19% higher revenue.

Beyond this, three distinct McKinsey studies determined that ethnically diverse companies deliver up to 36% more profitability, while greater gender diversity led to a 25% increase in financial performance.

As DEIB becomes increasingly important to the career ambitions of modern employees, it is also a pivotal element in a robust, high-performing employer brand strategy.

Based on the latest trends and techniques we hear from employer brand and HR professionals worldwide, here are 6 ways to make DEIB a core focus in your organisation and talent attraction methods.

1. Adopt AI to sense-check your DEIB communications

Today’s candidates are hyper-vigilant when it comes to the language you employ in your various employer brand communications, from job descriptions to recruitment adverts. With the evolution of AI algorithms, you can use these to review the copy of any content, to ensure nothing you publish unintentionally discriminates against potential candidates.

AI can also enable your hiring managers to review resumes impartially, analysing the relevant details without any consideration of gender, ethnic origin or similar factors. You may also use it to assess any salary discrepancies, so your company can make progress toward a more equitable work environment.

2. Establish diversity & inclusivity champions and ERGs

While the right policies are important, a diverse, inclusive environment must be nurtured over time. Hiring DEIB specialists, or promoting people from within your teams to act as diversity champions, helps ensure these issues are addressed from the ground-up.

Your representatives must have passion for the causes they represent, and be equipped with the relevant training materials, resources and freedom to fulfil their role. Setting up Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can further support these individuals by creating voluntary, employee-led groups based on shared characteristics and experiences.

This organisational structure can help ensure your workforce’s unique wants and concerns are addressed directly, by people who understand them on a deeper level. It helps confirm DEIB policies are upheld and all employees are educated about these fundamental issues.

Plus, giving these groups the power to create content supporting your diversity and inclusivity initiatives can enhance your DEIB efforts internally and externally, especially through your staff’s social media profiles. Always keep in mind that candidates are more prone to trust a company’s employees over the company itself.

3. Integrate intersectionality into your DEIB strategies

A term coined by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, intersectionality is a growing concept that notes how differences in people’s backgrounds, whether it’s their age, gender, race or abilities, shape their experiences in the world.

Creating policies and programs around intersectionality will help your various employees better understand the challenges and discrimination their co-workers face, leading to a more empathetic work environment. This could take the form of monthly meetings or presentations from team members expressing their experiences.

Steps like this reinforce that your DEIB efforts are more than a token gesture. It shows you care about your people’s backgrounds, want to open dialogues and break down systemic barriers to create fair opportunities for everyone.

4. Create a culture of greater transparency

Transparency has become increasingly vital in building trust between employers and employees, particularly in the issues of diversity, equity and inclusivity:

Building a culture of transparency over pay, hiring practices, career development and more can help your staff feel significantly more acknowledged and respected. It demonstrates that you value a fair, equitable environment and have no hidden barriers hindering their progress.

To foster a more transparent work environment, you should aim to:

  • Introduce pay transparency commitment guidelines
  • Disclose your diversity metrics publicly
  • Illustrate clear pathways for promotions and career advancement
  • Publish details about the diversity of your suppliers and contractors
  • Share your company’s DEIB goals and targets across your organisation

5. Set up inclusive recruitment processes

Are your hiring practices aligned with your DEIB commitments? Every layer of a candidate’s recruitment journey should be structured around this if you want to meet your diversity and inclusivity targets, ensure that no candidate feels alienated, and further boost the likelihood of long-term retention.

To evolve your recruitment strategies with DEIB at their core, consider the following:

  • Implement a “blind” resume review to eliminate any biases over a candidate’s name
  • Audit your job benefits to check they align with your preferred candidates’ wants
  • Offer dedicated DEIB training to your hiring managers and recruiters
  • Use inclusive language in your job adverts, correspondence and onboarding materials
  • Post on niche job boards that focus on promoting diverse candidates

6. Upscale your DEIB communications with brand management technology

As today’s recruitment teams are expected to deliver more with less, engaging and attracting diverse talent becomes that much harder. 57% of talent leaders say hiring a more diverse workforce is a top priority, but 43% feel sourcing candidates is a serious challenge.

You want to advertise everywhere, with tailored content that reflects the diversity and inclusivity of your organisation, so you can truly connect with a wider talent pool, but time and design expertise are finite.

High-quality employer branding tools can unlock the full potential of your DEIB recruitment, enabling you to create, structure and unleash your brand like never before. By investing in the right software, you can:

  • Establish a digital brand hub for your employer brand guidelines, DEIB framework and more, so that your entire team is educated on your values and mission
  • Scale your content production with smart design templates, enabling anyone in your organisation to create high-quality content consistent with your brand identity
  • Rapidly tailor assets with the right language, imagery and styling to attract a diverse pool of candidates
  • Store any DEIB-focused images, assets, videos and more in a dedicated Digital Asset Management system, making it easy for your recruitment teams to locate and share these in your campaigns

With a strong, reliable brand management platform in your corner, you gain the power to present a consistent, far-reaching employer brand, one that illustrates your commitment to diversity, equity, inclusivity and belonging to the fullest.

Building your up-to-date employer brand around DEIB

DEIB is here to stay. With the latest generations placing a premium on an employer’s diversity, inclusivity and fairness, you must put these four letters at the heart of your employer brand to keep your recruitment efforts on the right trajectory.

We hope that these recommendations and top trends enable you to activate DEIB in your branding and build a truly inclusive work environment. 

But remember – authenticity is everything. This can’t just be a token gesture during Pride Month – prioritise DEIB within your existing workforce and ask your current employees how you can improve. 

Once you have these matters settled at home, you can make real strides to engage perceptive, progressive talent across the globe.

Brand management

7 successful brand reputation management strategies

Reputation is everything for today’s brands. Your brand’s reputation is how people perceive your organisation, from your day-to-day consumers to your employees and stakeholders.

Fundamentally, the stronger your reputation, the more you’re trusted and respected by those around you. This in turn increases customer loyalty, boosts sales and grows your market share. Those are incredible benefits, but they come with a hefty burden, as just one or two missteps can cause your reputation to tumble, and put you on a long road to recovery.

Maintaining a strong brand reputation demands long-term, end-to-end management, addressing both the positive and the negative. In this guide, we share strategies we’ve learned across our 20+ years of working with global brands to help you stay in good standing with your target audiences.

Brand reputation management quote by Warren Buffet - It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it

What is brand reputation management?

Brand reputation management is the steps and strategies you take to monitor, govern and protect your reputation with your audiences.

In this digital age, most of that takes place online. From comments on your social media platforms to dedicated review websites such as Yelp, Trustpilot and Google Reviews, there are many forums for your customers, employees and beyond to share their thoughts about your brand, products and services.

And what they say matters. Around 90% of consumers say they won’t frequent a business with a negative reputation, while nearly 70% of job candidates would reject job offers from a company with a poor reputation – even if they were unemployed!

Brand reputation statistics infographic about the impact of negative company reviews and reputation on consumers and candidates

What does brand reputation management involve?

As much of what dictates a brand’s reputation happens online, managing this will typically include:

  • Monitoring brand mentions, comments and messages on social media
  • Checking your platform’s online review pages and responding to comments
  • Responding to customer enquiries through emails, contact forms and other communication channels
  • Developing public relations strategies to handle how your brand is presented in the media and manage crises
  • Collaborating with industry experts and influencers with strong reputations
  • Creating expert content on your website and wider platforms to demonstrate your thought leadership

However, it’s equally important to manage your brand offline. Communications with customers and appearances in local publications can majorly contribute to how people perceive you.

How do I measure my brand’s reputation?

While there is no clear-cut way to know if your brand has a good or bad reputation, several indicators can help you gauge public opinion:

6 ways to measure your brand reputation - brand sentiment, customer surveys, reviews, media mentions, feedback and  awards

Tracking these metrics will give you a solid sense of how people view your brand, and whether you must take action to repair any damage.

The importance of a positive brand reputation – and the costs of a negative one

The importance of your brand’s reputation cannot be overstated. As mentioned earlier, it’s one of the biggest influences on trust between your brand and your core audiences. A negative reputation won’t inspire confidence in potential customers or employees – particularly if your competitors have a more positive stature.

But its value goes far beyond trust – a positive brand reputation:

Boosts sales and revenue

When you have many positive reviews from satisfied customers, others will naturally want to experience the same quality. Conversely, an abundance of 1-star reviews will scare potential customers away, costing you revenue.

Customers willing to spend 31% more on a  business with excellent reviews - Brand reputation and revenue statistics - Source: Invesp

Builds customer loyalty

A consistent reputation breeds loyalty among your audience, as they understand they can trust you to deliver on their expectations. As you can imagine, having a constant stream of loyal customers coming back time and again contributes significantly to your ongoing success.

Attracts top talent

Modern candidates are increasingly concerned about the reputation, ethics and social responsibility of the brands they work for. The better your reputation, the better your chances of recruiting and retaining the best available talent.

86% of employees and job seekers research company reviews and ratings - Employer brand reputation statistic - Source: Glassdoor

Opens doors to partnerships

Did you know that 69% of consumers trust recommendations from their favourite influencers? These personalities also have reputations to uphold, so a strong brand reputation is crucial to secure these beneficial partnerships.

Increases brand awareness

There’s an old saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. However, constant negative feedback results in the wrong type of brand awareness – the type that wards away potential customers. Effective brand management helps you appear in the right places to attract consumers, from search engines to social channels.

Brand trust statistic - 82% of shoppers make purchases based on brand trust - Source: Shopify

Grows brand equity

Greater loyalty and awareness among your target audiences contributes to better brand equity. This helps increase your market share among competitors, and enables you to charge more for your goods and services.

Minimises the impact of a crisis

Every organisation makes mistakes or unpopular decisions from time to time. With a healthy brand reputation, you’re in a better position to navigate troublesome moments and minimise the repercussions. If you have a weak reputation already, these moments may prove the final straw for your audiences.

Discover how to master brand communication - Link to Papirfly guide

7 effective brand reputation management strategies to protect your stature

Now you understand the value of a strong brand reputation, what can you do to establish and preserve this?

Of course, the core of any good brand reputation is offering quality products and services. Nothing will redeem you long-term if you fail to meet this benchmark. But from this foundation, there are numerous steps you can take to reinforce your status:

1. Encourage authentic reviews and ratings from your customers

First, regularly encourage feedback from your customers, both positive and negative. When they buy your product or use your services, ask them to share a review either in person, via email or attached to your invoices. 65% of people will leave a review if prompted by an organisation.

Ideally, your overall review rating should be between 4 and 4.7 stars. 57% of consumers won’t use a business with a rating below 4 stars, but the likelihood of purchases also dips the closer you get to the full 5 stars, as many customers consider this inauthentic or inflated.

Authenticity is essential. Whether people love or loathe your products or services, potential customers want an honest assessment to make their judgements. Fake positive reviews don’t benefit you or your reputation.

Online review and reputation statistics infographic - Sources: Podium and BrightLocal

2. Respond promptly to any customer concerns

From a critical email to a negative review, you must proactively respond to customer issues with your brand. 89% of consumers say they are likelier to frequent businesses that respond to all reviews, positive or negative.

Brand sentiment analysis and social listening tools can help you here, spotlighting any negative online comments or reviews so you can promptly respond. With your responses, remember to:

  • Provide a solution to their issue where possible, or reassure the person that you are actively working on one
  • Demonstrate empathy for their frustration or dissatisfaction
  • Maintain communication while their issue is being resolved
  • Follow up with the person once their problem is solved, and potentially encourage them to rescind or update their review

For more efficient responses, you may establish template answers for frequently asked queries or problems you have identified. However, you should use these only as a base and tailor your specific responses to the customer’s direct concerns.

And remember, negative feedback can be the springboard to positive improvements for your organisation, so always welcome these with open arms!

3. Maintain consistency across your brand assets

Your reputation is judged by more than your online reviews. Most customers expect consistent messaging across every engagement they have with your brand. Any break in your tone, visual identity, brand colours and more can make your brand appear disorganised and unprofessional, harming your overall reputation.

It’s essential your branding and marketing stay consistent on every channel. To achieve this:

  • Establish clear brand guidelines that tie down your brand’s identity
  • Develop branded design templates to keep your assets aligned across all platforms
  • Invest in a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution to provide a single library of approved assets for your teams
  • Recycle existing brand assets in different formats to maintain the same look and feel
  • Monitor your marketing campaigns to identify any instances of inconsistency at the earliest opportunity

For more advice on this topic, check out our ultimate guide to brand consistency.

 87% of customers think brands should work harder at brand consistency - Source: Convert Group

4. Create brand reputation guidelines and a communications strategy

In a similar vein, it’s beneficial to establish specific brand reputation guidelines to define how you communicate your brand and respond to feedback. These guidelines could include:

  • Your brand values and mission statements
  • Your brand’s visual identity, including logos, colour palettes, typography and imagery
  • Your tone of voice, ensuring messages reflect your brand’s personality
  • A framework for crafting messages, comments and responses in line with your brand identity
  • Crisis communication protocols to manage negative publicity quickly
  • Social media guidelines that dictate how you engage with followers on your social profiles
  • Customer service standards that set expectations for all customer interactions
  • Partnership and sponsorship criteria that ensure you select partners and sponsors that align with your brand’s values

With a solid communications strategy in place somewhere readily accessible to your marketing, PR and branding teams across the globe, you help ensure a consistent approach and reputation at all times.

5. Invest in online listening tools

It’s impossible to stay abreast of everything people say about your brand manually – at least not without a considerable investment of time and resources. 

Online listening tools can monitor and track references to your brand on social media, Google, review sites and beyond. This allows you to instantly see, digest and respond to any negative sentiment, as well as measure the performance of branded hashtags and specific marketing campaigns.

Some online listening tools will cost you nothing to set up. Google Alerts is a great example, one every brand should pay attention to, sending you daily email notifications for particular keywords and phrases you want to track online.

Other noteworthy online listening tools include:

6. Focus on enhancing your SEO

68% of all online experiences begin with a search engine, and they are among the most trustworthy sources of information for consumers. Therefore, the higher your website ranks on search engines, the more reputable your brand appears.

Devoting time to your SEO strategy helps your brand get noticed on these essential destinations, and establishes you as a thought leader in your industry. To ramp up your SEO efforts, consider:

  • Creating engaging, relevant content that addresses your audience’s questions and needs
  • Keeping your content up-to-date to maintain its relevance and freshness
  • Optimising your content, titles, images and more with the correct keywords to generate search traffic
  • Improving the structure of your website through internal linking and a consistent URL layout
  • Acquiring high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites in your industry
  • Ensuring your business information is consistent across online directories and listings
  • Enhancing user experience (UX) by making your website easy to navigate and visually appealing
SEO and trust statistics for trusting search engine results and number 1 results in Google  - Source: Convert Group

7. Harness user-generated content and brand advocates

Lastly, we noted earlier how consumers are more inclined to trust individuals than brands. This is nothing ground-breaking, but it does make user-generated content (UGC), testimonials and similar assets incredibly effective at raising your brand reputation.

By showcasing customers using your products or services in videos, or sharing employee experiences on review websites such as Glassdoor, this presents an authentic impression of the quality of your organisation.

The more third-party advocates and influencers you have promoting the benefits of your brand, the more trustworthy and reputable you appear to your target audiences.

Build your reputation on an on-brand culture

With your brand’s reputation fundamental to your long-term revenue, recognition and success, we hope this guide gives you the foundation to control this across all platforms.

Of course, a strong brand reputation is based on a robust on-brand culture. An environment where all your teams understand your values and identity, and have the tools to communicate these across your marketing operations.

Identifying an effective brand management software solution gives your teams the foundation to maintain this consistent presentation. With this structure, your customers, employees and beyond are encouraged to gain trust in your organisation, keeping your reputation solid and stable for years to come.

Ready to unleash your brand consistently on every channel? Empower your people with Papirfly – the all-in-one brand management platform
Brand consistency, Employer brand

Refreshing employer branding: webinar insights from PepsiCo and Papirfly

In today’s competitive job market, with global companies trying to maintain a consistent reputation across all markets, a strong employer brand is more crucial than ever. Using brand and content management solutions have become essential when scaling and streamlining branding efforts.

Recently, Papirfly collaborated with PepsiCo to deliver an insightful webinar on the evolution of PepsiCo’s employer brand. Featuring Sally Elbassir from PepsiCo and Espen Getz Harstad, Chief Branding Officer at Papirfly, the session highlighted strategic innovations and practical approaches to maintaining brand consistency and empowering employees – anywhere in the world.

Strategic collaboration and innovative employer branding

The discussion underscored the strategic innovations PepsiCo implemented to transform its employer brand. By establishing clear visual identity guidelines, PepsiCo ensured brand consistency and empowered its teams to create customised, cohesive brand assets.

Having worked historically with each market or region working with their own agencies and partners, creating assets with consistency was difficult. “Maintaining brand consistency was just so challenging,” noted Sally Elbassir from PepsiCo. “All it takes is a little tweak here and a little tweak there, and then suddenly your brand doesn’t look like a brand anymore.”

PepsiCo’s challenges and solutions

One of the key challenges PepsiCo faced was balancing budget constraints while maintaining a cohesive global brand identity. Sally Elbassir explained, “Every market has a different marketing budget that they can allocate. So with Papirfly, we ensured that folks could create assets that are a bit customised but maintain that global brand.”

Empowering employees was another crucial aspect of PepsiCo’s strategy. “With Papirfly, one of the cool things is that it’s a tool everyone feels empowered to use. We made sure that we set it up so folks could take the templates and then create and use them to build assets that are still a bit customised but maintain that global brand,” said Elbassir.

Enhanced asset creation, workflow efficiency and agency collaboration

Papirfly significantly improved on-brand asset creation, transforming how PepsiCo worked with external agencies. Day-to-day assets can now be created in-house without the external back and forth of review and sign-off, releasing agency budget to be used on more specialised creative work. The platform optimised campaign execution and workflow management, ensuring timely and effective communication. 

“Papirfly has transformed the way we work with agencies. We can use budgets to focus on the more complex creatives, and with both parties using Papirfly’s DAM, agencies can understand our brand and access and upload preapproved photography and other assets with ease. It’s been a game-changer,” shared Elbassir.

During the Q&A, Espen highlighted the evolving relationship with agencies. “Instead of eliminating agencies, we are focusing on improving collaboration. Papirfly enables us to work better together, with agencies gaining a deeper understanding of our brand and seamlessly contributing to our campaigns.” Sally confirmed, “This collaborative approach has led to more efficient use of our resources and higher quality outputs.”

Enhancing employer brand engagement and activation

Empowering employees to activate the hard-fought results of the employer brand development process has led to a stronger sense of belonging and loyalty, making them feel valued and more connected to PepsiCo’s global brand. Making every employee excited to be a brand ambassador in this way has been pivotal in maintaining brand consistency and reconfirming the positive values and visual identity in PepsiCo’s employer brand.

PepsiCo’s journey to enhance its employer brand showcases a commitment to maintaining a cohesive brand image while allowing for regional customisation. Creating a centralised brand asset management system has significantly streamlined PepsiCo’s employer branding efforts, ensuring consistent and compelling messaging across all markets.

Revolutionising talent attraction and retention strategies 

By centralising brand assets and empowering local teams to create on-brand materials, PepsiCo has revolutionised its talent attraction and retention strategies. This strategic move has enhanced the global brand presence.

As well as improved brand visibility, using the Papirfly Platform for employer branding efforts has ensured potential candidates receive a coherent and engaging narrative about what it means to work at PepsiCo – more effectively attracting top talent and providing a consistent experience for those employees after they are hired.

Strategic insights for employer branding professionals

Employer branding professionals can draw valuable lessons from PepsiCo’s experience:

  • Clear visual identity: Establish tight guidelines to maintain brand consistency across all regions.
  • Empowered scalability: Equip global and local teams to create on-brand assets instantly, creating agility and saving time.
  • Cost efficiency: Balance regional budget constraints while maintaining a global brand identity.

Papirfly’s role in PepsiCo’s success

All of this was possible with Papirfly. By providing tools for centralised brand management, template customisation, and employee empowerment, Papirfly enabled PepsiCo to maintain brand consistency and streamline asset creation processes. This partnership helped them to set a new standard for employer branding excellence.

  • Improved brand consistency: Centralised brand guidelines ensured a cohesive brand image.
  • Enhanced employee empowerment: Teams felt empowered to create customised, on-brand assets.
  • Optimised budget management: Efficient use of regional marketing budgets while maintaining global brand standards.
  • Increased talent attraction: A compelling employer brand attracts top talent more effectively.
  • Greater employee retention: Empowering employees to share their experiences fostered a more profound sense of belonging and loyalty.

A blueprint for future success

The collaboration between PepsiCo and Papirfly demonstrates the transformative power of strategic employer branding supported by advanced SaaS technology. For companies looking to attract and retain the best talent, the insights shared in this webinar serve as a blueprint for leveraging employee voices to create a compelling and authentic employer brand.

Watch the webinar in full to discover more about how PepsiCo utilised Papirfly’s brand management platform.

Brand management

The power of personalisation for brand marketing in 2024

“Personalisation – it’s not about first/last name. It’s about relevant content.” – Dan Jak

No customer wants to feel like a stranger or a number. They want the brands they engage with to understand them – their needs, their pain points, their goals. They want to be seen as individuals.

That is what creating personalised content is all about. It’s about tailoring customer experiences around specific consumers. It’s about building trust through more focused, familiar interactions. And ultimately, it’s about making sure customers feel special.

Better brand personalisation should be a goal in any organisation, and thanks to the tools available today, achieving this is more attainable than ever. Yet, a recent Papirfly poll found that just 25% of respondents classed their marketing efforts as highly personalised and on-brand globally and locally.

More must be done to deliver the personalised experiences modern consumers want. Here we’ll explore the benefits and challenges of personalised brand marketing, and how you can add a personal touch to your campaigns on a global or local scale.

Papirfly brand personalisation statistic - Only 25% of marketers say campaigns are highly personalised and on-brand globally and locally

What is personalisation in brand marketing?

Personalisation is when you adapt your brand marketing around the information you know about your customers. Their interests, preferred products or services, shopping habits, pain points – anything that enables you to speak directly to your customers on a one-to-one level.

Personalisation isn’t a new concept. In 18th century London, customers at Lock & Co. Hatters, the world’s oldest hat shop, would simply shout “hat” outside the shop, and the staff would deliver a new hat to them, matching their size and style preferences.

But in the digital marketing age, the ability to understand customer preferences through data and analytics has never been greater. How often have you searched for a product on Google or Amazon, and suddenly seen that same product appearing in your emails, social feeds and banner ads when you next hop online?

With the right tools and ethical techniques, you can gather the data to craft messages for specific target audiences, with the potential only limited by time and resources.

Is brand personalisation only relevant for e-commerce businesses?

Absolutely not. While personalisation is rightly attached to e-commerce and the wider retail industry, this approach is relevant for any organisation looking to generate more sales and loyalty from their target markets.

Infographic showing 72% of shoppers say businesses they buy from recognise them as individuals and know their interests - Source: McKinsey

5 reasons brand personalisation is so important

1. Modern customers want and expect personalised experiences

Firstly and most importantly, customers expect campaigns to be tailored around them.

87% of marketing professionals say consumers desire personalised content from their preferred brands, while 76% of consumers say they’re more likely to purchase from brands that deliver these personalised experiences.

While there’s always a risk of entering “creepy” territory – by and large, customers want to be presented with personalised products and offers.

Importance of personalisation statistics around personalised content, personal experiences, repeat custom and brand satisfaction

2. Personalised brand marketing boosts revenue

With today’s consumers more inclined to buy from brands that personalise their campaigns, naturally this approach encourages more sales. It just makes sense – if you as a customer are presented with a bespoke offer or discount based on your interests, you’re likely going to take it (or at least consider it).

In fact, it’s estimated companies generate up to 40% more revenue from personalised content, while personalised calls-to-action (CTAs) deliver over 200% more conversions than generic ones.

3. Personalisation improves the ROI of your marketing campaigns

Beyond revenue, personalisation can also noticeably improve the ROI of your marketing. By targeting customers with content and offers tailored to their wants and needs, you remove a lot of the speculation associated with less focused, generalised campaigns.

If you speak your customer’s language and understand their wishes, you’re more likely to secure an efficient conversion. That’s why 89% of marketers say they achieve a positive ROI when their campaigns are personalised.

4. Personalisation leads to more effective customer retargeting

Retargeting is crucial in today’s landscape to keep your message in front of your audience amidst a tidal wave of advertising and content. Personalisation and effective use of customer data enables you to customise your retargeting campaigns around your marketing segments.

This achieves better results, builds brand awareness and leads to more satisfying, familiar customer interactions.

Retargeted ads achieve 400% increase in engagement - Source: Vibe.co

5. Personalisation encourages stronger brand loyalty, recognition and equity

Finally, personalisation supports your brand marketing in ways that are difficult to measure, but still hold value. 

For instance, more personalised, positive experiences for your customers encourage loyalty and repeat business. 78% of consumers say personalisation makes them more likely to repurchase from the same brand, and loyal customers offer much more value to your business.

This more engaging content also enhances brand recognition among your core audiences, which in turn raises your brand equity and allows you to sell your products and services for a premium value.

What challenges do brands face in implementing effective personalisation strategies?

Although personalisation in brand marketing is more attainable than ever, numerous challenges can hinder your efforts: 

  • Capturing customer data can be difficult due to strict GDPR and protection guidelines
  • Becoming too familiar with your audience can put off prospective customers
  • Bringing individual customer data together to form distinct buyer personas can be challenging
  • Customer data silos in your organisation can lead to duplicate messages or prevent useful knowledge from reaching your marketing teams

Strong brand management can help you overcome these hurdles, and give your teams the power to personalise your customer journeys with speed and precision.

How to deliver personalised experiences across your customers’ journeys

If you are keen to unlock the full potential of personalisation in your marketing efforts, here are our key pieces of advice you need to consider:

Conduct market research and collect customer data

The heart of any brand personalisation strategy is solid, well-researched customer data. How can you tailor your messages if you don’t understand who you’re talking to?

Collect, analyse and scrutinise everything from demographics and past purchases, to preferences, behaviours and beyond. Carry out surveys to understand the specific wants of your target audiences better. By recognising the characteristics of your customers, your personalisation efforts become more relevant and powerful.

4 effective sources of customer data for personalised content- Analytics, surveys, social media metrics, and CRM data - Infographic

Segment your target audiences based on the information you gather

Once you have a bank of data, use this to segment your audience appropriately. Particularly for larger, global organisations, it’s unfeasible to meet the precise needs of every individual customer. Strong market segmentation is the next best approach.

Dividing your customers by their shared characteristics empowers you to produce personalised content and experiences that connect with a select group really well, which should encourage purchases.

Invest in tools for real-time asset creation and customisation

Agility is essential for effective personalised campaigns. With your knowledge of your target audiences, you must be prepared to capitalise on any event or opportunity in your marketing. 

Internally, you must also demonstrate agility by organising teams around specific customer segments or journeys with efficient collaboration.

Identifying and investing in brand management solutions and technology is key to achieving the flexibility your personalisation efforts require. In particular, prioritise on-brand asset creation software that makes it faster and simpler for your teams to personalise your global assets, and Digital Asset Management (DAM) to give people instant access to relevant content.

Centralise your brand identity in one accessible location

Personalisation should never come at the expense of your identity – brand consistency must be at the foundation to ensure a harmonious experience for your customers.

With this in mind, it’s useful to establish a centralised brand hub that your teams worldwide can access and refer to at all times. Brand guidelines, tone of voice, colour palettes – by containing everything in one location, your professionals can comfortably personalise materials knowing they can never stray from your core identity.

Develop distinct personalisation strategies for each stage of the customer journey

It can take many steps to capture a customer, so you should aim to personalise each part of their journey.

Personalising customer journeys - Awareness, consideration, decision - Brand marketing Infographic

Measure and refine your personalisation efforts

Our final tip is to keep your personalised marketing from stagnating. Conduct A/B testing on your communications, track the performance of your campaigns and encourage customer feedback to see where your personalisation efforts could be improved.

Useful metrics to measure the success of your personalised content include:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Customer loyalty
  • Brand differentiation
  • Campaign ROI
  • Customer lifetime value

Perfecting personalisation both globally and locally

A personalised approach to brand marketing is especially important for global brands with numerous local outlets. With variances in languages, cultures, backgrounds, environments and beyond, a one-size-fits-all marketing approach simply cannot work.

Take Rabobank as an example. Headquartered in the Netherlands, this cooperative bank today has locations in over 20 countries across all continents. This means they must adapt content for each region to resonate with customers and promote relevant services, while keeping their global brand identity intact.

To overcome this challenge, Rabobank employs effective brand management technology that allows them to:

  • Build a dedicated home for their branding to maintain consistency across all channels and locations
  • Access on-brand assets from one central DAM system, with user permissions based on an employee’s position, region or country
  • Streamline on-brand asset production so their teams can execute in minutes, enabling them to stay agile and customise content at scale
  • Improve campaign execution to capitalise on industry trends with personalised content that engages audiences in real-time

With the right platform in place, Rabobank is making personalisation achievable in every market, while simultaneously strengthening its overall brand presence.

How Rabobank maintains local market presence while growing at scale with Papirfly - Quote “The Papirfly platform protects and strengthens our brand identity.”

4 brands who personalise with passion

1. Amazon

As the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon has constantly refined its algorithm to present personalised product recommendations to shoppers. This understanding ensures that Amazon is always pointing customers towards compelling offers, resulting in more positive experiences and an increased likelihood of conversions.

2. Coca-Cola

The famous “Share a Coke” campaign was a masterstroke in personalised marketing. Allowing people to customise bottles with whatever name they wanted, this was a campaign that could resonate in every country and culture.

It did more than personalise products, it tailored the entire customer experience and encouraged people to share their bottles on social media with the hashtag #ShareaCoke.

3. Shutterfly

Shutterfly’s approach is all about personalisation, allowing its customers to create custom gifts using their photos. To do this, a customer simply downloads the Shutterfly app, permits it to access their photos, and the app automatically identifies images with faces to place on items. 

This bespoke product is then sent to the customer, encouraging them to complete the purchase.

4. Matsmart

Through a series of highly segmented, dynamic Facebook ad campaigns, Swedish food retailer Matsmart achieved an 84% increase in website revenue in just three months, as well as a 4x ROI on the campaign over six months.

This example makes Matsmart a pioneer of how serving the right content to the right person at the right time can maximise your sales potential – something many brands have adopted since.

Ready to reap the rewards of personalised brand marketing?

Personalisation is one of the most powerful ways modern marketers can connect with customers and build loyal, engaged fan bases. As customers’ expectations grow year on year, having the tools and knowledge in place to adapt your content for specific locations, generations and audience segments is key to maximise the ROI of your campaigns.

We cannot stress enough the value of branded design templates in achieving this aim. Creating personalised content can massively drain costs, time and resources when attempted manually, especially against the demands of multichannel marketing

Make this your priority, and crafting messages that speak to your audiences directly will soon be a seamless, painless process – one with the power to make a huge impression on the success of your campaigns.

Ready to unleash your brand consistently on every channel? Empower your people with Papirfly – the all-in-one brand management platform
Employer brand

Graduate recruitment: 4 major employer branding mistakes to avoid

Mistakes are important. They help us learn, grow and improve over time. Unfortunately, many brands fall into the same bad habits in their attempts to attract, recruit and retain an evermore sophisticated wave of graduate recruits. 

At the same time, today’s graduates can access and assess potential employers more closely than ever before – researching company culture, values, career development opportunities and more in a matter of clicks.

Repeating the same mistakes with your graduate brand prevents you from engaging this fresh, hungry generation and losing top talent to your competitors. To help you better tap into the graduate talent pipeline in an increasingly fierce job market, this guide will help you steer clear of common blunders. 

As a company with years of experience empowering organisations worldwide to unleash their employer brand, below we outline 4 major graduate recruitment mistakes and our top solutions to avoid them.

Graduate recruitment statistics infographic about increased graduate applications - Source: Institute of Student Employers

Graduate recruitment mistake #1: Not understanding your audience

The core of a strong employer brand is knowing your audience. What are potential new hires looking for from an employer? What do they know of workplace culture? How do they like to be communicated with?

These questions will encourage very different answers, depending on the age, experience and background of whom you ask. A graduate fresh out of university or college will have different wants, ambitions and tendencies than someone who has worked for 2 or 3 decades.

So, to ensure you connect with the next generation of candidates, you must tailor your employer brand strategy to meet their expectations. And for that to succeed, you must understand what Generation Z wants from employers.

What do today’s graduates look for in an employer brand before applying?

Today’s graduates are firmly Gen Z, a generation that is estimated to make up 27% of the global workforce by 2025. They’re as digitally-driven as it gets – the first generation that doesn’t recall a time before the Internet was widely available.

As such, how Gen Z consumes content and judges an employer’s reputation is far removed from those who came before them. They are hypervisual, resilient and less entitled – and have preferences that modern organisations must prioritise in their graduate recruitment campaigns:

Gen Z recruitment and workplace stats around identity, work-life balance, remote working, diversity, values and environmental impact - Employer brand infographic

Gen Z candidates want transparency over salary

While Gen Z is less single-minded on salary than past generations, they still want to be paid fairly and well. 65% of Gen Z candidates say that pay transparency is one of their biggest motivators for applying for a job, so you should make this prominent in any job descriptions and adverts you share.

Gen Z candidates care about workplace diversity and inclusion

Today’s graduates prioritise a diverse, inclusive work environment more than generations before. According to research by Monster, 83% of Gen Z candidates say a company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion influences who they apply to, and 69% are more likely to apply to jobs where the employer branding reflects an “ethnically and racially diverse” workforce.

Beyond this, graduates also have strong feelings toward sustainability efforts, environmental practices and social responsibility initiatives, and want to work for companies whose values align with their own.

Gen Z candidates are tech-savvy

Gen Z has been brought up on smartphones and social media, so employers must focus on these devices and channels to reach graduates on their level. But beyond this, Gen Z also cares about the quality of technology they’ll use in their job – 70% of these employees would leave a current role for one offering better technology.

Gen Z employees statistic stating that 70% would leave their current role for one offering better technology compared to Gen X and Baby Boomers - Source: Adobe

Gen Z candidates want flexibility

Work-life balance is one of the major concerns of graduate recruits. Gen Z candidates are 77% more likely to check a vacancy that mentions “flexibility” than one that doesn’t, while 72% of Gen Z employees have either left or considered leaving a job because their employer didn’t offer a flexible work policy.

Gen Z candidates want to learn and grow in a role

Finally, Gen Z is conscious about upskilling and evolution. 67% of younger recruits want to work for companies that actively teach skills to advance their careers, so promoting learning and development programs in your employer branding is a powerful incentive for today’s graduates.

Graduate recruitment statistic - 76% of Gen Z employees believe upskilling is key to career advancement - source: LinkedIn

The solution? Tailor your graduate recruitment strategy

Taking what we know about graduates, Gen Z and their employer preferences, you should use this to craft a distinct employer branding separate from your other campaigns.

For example, graduate recruits typically want to see diversity and inclusivity, so ensure the imagery of your campaigns makes this immediately apparent. They want career development opportunities? Dedicate a whole section to this on your recruitment website or brochures.

By tailoring your graduate brand around this audience’s priorities – adjusted according to your specific industry and company values – you are far more likely to leave a positive impression on top candidates.

Graduate recruitment mistake #2: Failing to use the right marketing channels

As mentioned earlier, Gen Z is the most tech-savvy generation to date (until Generation Alpha enters the workforce in a few years). Old-school approaches to promoting roles and your overall employer brand are becoming less and less effective – advertising in newspapers is hardly effective when 46% of graduates apply for jobs on their mobile phones.

Where you promote your employer brand is just as crucial as how you promote it, so you must consider the right channels to get your message across.

Social media is a standout example. 95% of the UK’s leading recruiters in The Times’ Top 100 Graduate Employers utilise social media in their talent attraction efforts, while over 50% of college grads use LinkedIn to research graduate job opportunities.

73% of job seekers aged 18 to 34 found their last job through social media - Employer branding and recruitment statistic - Source: Aberdeen Group

Videos are another powerful tool to connect with graduates. With Gen Z having grown up on platforms like YouTube and TikTok, video content stands out as a powerful way to communicate your messages in a way they actively enjoy.

But these aren’t the only ways to successfully reach modern graduates – also consider:

  • Creating a dedicated portal or page on your website dedicated to graduates, highlighting the perks and information that resonates with them
  • Attending university career fairs and campus engagement events, where your representatives can speak to interested candidates one-on-one
  • Developing graduate internship programs that allow them to understand your company culture and help you assess their potential
  • Using online job platforms such as Glassdoor, Indeed, Monster and more that graduates readily turn to when seeking out opportunities
  • Distributing brochures and leaflets at local universities and colleges to offer something different and more personal to today’s digitally-centred recruits

Furthermore, make use of your existing employees where possible. Younger candidates are far more likely to believe the experiences of a current employee when researching an employer than the employer themself.

 Employee advocacy - 66% of job candidates want to hear more from a company’s employees - Source: Workleap

Clever usage of employee testimonials, interviews and videos on your recruitment feeds can help graduates truly understand your work environment, and inspire graduates to examine your opportunities more closely.

But this poses a problem – with so many social networks, forums and channels you can use to reach graduates, how do you maintain an active presence on these while staying within time and budget limitations?

Investing in a powerful employer brand platform can empower your teams to produce high-quality assets for all potential digital and physical channels remarkably quickly. With smart, predefined branded templates, your teams can produce content faster for every touchpoint, giving you greater coverage for your graduate recruitment for much less effort.

 Papirfly success story - How IBM achieves brand consistency across their global recruitment campaigns with the Papirfly employer branding platform

Graduate recruitment mistake #3: Inconsistent branding

Today’s job-seeking graduates know the importance of protecting their own online presence. 70% of employers use social media to screen potential hires, so top recruits understand they must keep a clean, unproblematic image on their profiles.

Similarly, modern companies must take the same sensible approach to communicate a clear, unified and consistent image across every recruitment channel they use.

Think of your employer brand as your promise to potential recruits and existing employees. Any inconsistency or deviation in this image can quickly erode the confidence and trust of your audience. This costs you applications and sends top candidates to your competitors.

 Consistently presented brands are 3-4 times more likely to have excellent brand visibility - Source: Marq

What causes breaks in brand consistency? There are multiple reasons, but some of the most common include:

  • Departments and locations working in silos, resulting in individuals misusing your graduate brand or making errors, which over time will cloud your brand’s identity
  • An overreliance on external agencies, who are not as closely tied to your employer brand, causing misinterpretations
  • An abundance of recruitment channels can cause inconsistencies to creep in – having one look on your website and another at a campus presentation can create a disconnect

You never want potential candidates to get the wrong impression of your mission, values and company culture, or perceive your employer brand as chaotic or disorganised. Brand consistency is key to building trust, so how do you maintain this?

A central home for your employer brand guidelines

Establishing a distinct online destination for everything that dictates your employer branding – brand guidelines, colour palettes, your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) – means everyone responsible for producing your campaigns can refer to this whenever necessary.

Developing a true brand hub keeps your content consistent and aligned according to your core identity.

A single source of truth for your digital assets

Next, investing in Digital Asset Management (DAM) can give your teams worldwide access to a dedicated library of approved, on-brand assets, imagery, videos and beyond.

Again, this provides a single source of truth for your graduate recruitment collateral, so your campaigns never deviate from your brand message.

A collection of locked-down design templates

Using templates does more than accelerate asset creation; it also ensures certain elements such as your logo, design elements and imagery are formatted correctly on every new asset produced.

This provides a robust framework for your teams to work within, and means they can adapt content inside these bounds to translate your employer brand to local markets.

Having these as part of one comprehensive brand management solution boosts your efforts to attract top talent across the globe.

 Discover how to translate your employer brand for local markets - Link to Papirfly guide

Graduate recruitment mistake #4: Having a poor onboarding process

Imagine this – you’ve successfully attracted a hungry, motivated graduate to your team, and they passed their interview with flying colours. The hard work ends there, right?

Wrong. The recruitment process may be over, but your graduate brand must still work hard to nurture a sense of belonging within your latest recruit.

Especially because Gen Z is a generation of job-hoppers. 83% of Gen Z employees describe themselves this way, while over 22% of workers aged 20 and older spent less than a year at their jobs in 2022.

Retaining top talent for the long term is a persistent challenge, and starts with your onboarding process. This sets the tone for new arrivals, and a negative experience can instantly have them eyeing the exit door.

79% of employees say onboarding programs help them integrate and understand company culture - Source: Talmundo

Poor onboarding experiences may also hinder your efforts to attract graduates in the future if someone shares their negative experience online. On the opposite end of the scale, a positive onboarding experience is estimated to improve retention rates by as much as 82%.

So, what steps can you take to enhance your hiring process with effective onboarding?

Establish company mentors and “work buddies”

Entering the workplace is a daunting prospect for many graduates. Providing a mentor or buddy can help them ease into this transition and allow them to settle in far sooner.

Plus, it helps build a community within your organisation, providing your graduate hires with reassurance and familiarity from the outset.

 87% of organisations say a buddy system speeds up new hire proficiency
 - Source: Enboarder

Provide everything they need from day one

No new employee wants to arrive on their first day flustered about what they’re doing or where to go. Ensure new hires feel comfortable from the get-go by preparing everything they need to get started, including:

  • Setting up their workstation
  • Printing off all required paperwork
  • Organising all login details and entry cards they need
  • Presenting them with a schedule or calendar
  • Creating a dedicated employee handbook

Invest in introductory videos

As we highlighted earlier, Gen Z is much more accustomed to video as their preferred form of content. Creating accessible, repeatable videos that explain your company culture and your new hire’s responsibilities helps them understand your business sooner, while allowing your existing employees to focus on their tasks.

Introduce new hires to relevant training programs

Finally, demonstrate that you’re invested in their career development by setting them up with training programs and courses related to their work.

By giving new hires access to these learning courses, they will feel more empowered to deliver for your organisation. Your company benefits from a more motivated, skilled employee, while they form a more positive impression of your brand.

 Papirfly employer branding infographic - 4 ways to improve graduate onboarding

Support your company’s future with a great graduate brand

Your graduate brand is an integral part of your organisation’s long-term strategy. Ensuring you can consistently attract, engage and appeal to the next generation of candidates is key to a sustainable, lasting workforce – so it’s vital you get your campaign execution right.

By dodging the mistakes above, you go a long way to stealing a march on your competitors to seal the services of top, up-and-coming talent. Applying the techniques and strategies we’ve outlined, coupled with effective brand management software and a solid recruitment team, you can keep yourself firmly in the focus of young, aspirational job seekers.

If your talent acquisition challenges extend beyond your graduate recruits, find more excellent tips to attract and retain top professionals in our ultimate guide to employer branding.

Employer brand

18 powerful employer branding tools to activate your campaigns in 2024

With job seekers increasingly selective about who they work for, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of a strong, consistent employer brand.

It’s your unique selling point against a wave of competition. Your window into your company culture. Your vehicle to excite and build trust with potential candidates. Simply put, it’s the heart of modern recruitment, and something that demands a great deal of attention.

Fortunately, today there is a plethora of software, tools and platforms designed to streamline your efforts, unite your global teams and maintain a consistent, regular flow of content to recruits and employees.

In this guide, we break down 18 standout tools you should be paying attention to in 2024, so you can activate your employer brand with complete confidence.

Employer branding statistics about candidate applications, reducing cost per hire, decrease in turnover - Papirfly infographic

18 employer branding tools to check out in 2024

  1. Papirfly
  2. Rally® Inside™
  3. Canva
  4. Seenit
  5. ChatGPT
  6. Recruitee
  7. Jobbio
  8. Cliquify
  9. Social Sender
  10. Sociabble
  11. Brandfolder
  12. Employer Brand Index
  13. Olivia by Paradox
  14. Pathmotion
  15. Greenhouse
  16. TalentLyft
  17. Monday.com
  18. Ongig

All-in-one employer branding software

1. Papirfly’s brand management platform

Papirfly’s brand management platform empowers you with the tools to create and communicate your employer brand in one comprehensive solution. 

This platform offers numerous features to unleash your employer branding on a global scale, including:

  • A dedicated online brand portal for your employer brand guidelines, Employer Value Proposition (EVP) and other key documents that define your brand’s identity
  • A comprehensive, industry-recognised Digital Asset Management (DAM) system, allowing you to store and share on-brand assets for your recruitment campaigns
  • Intuitive design templates that enable fast, cost-effective content creation without any risk of breaking your brand guidelines
  • The capacity to rapidly adapt assets for local markets with the right language, imagery and cultural nuances to connect with job seekers globally
  • Collaborative, easy-to-use campaign execution tools that keep your marketing activities aligned and well-coordinated
Papirfly platform statistics - 600+ brands using Papirfly worldwide with 212% average customer ROI, and $1.2 million 3-year savings on asset creation

2. Rally® Inside™

Rally® Inside™ is a similar employer branding platform that employs real-time data and best practices to develop campaigns that attract and retain top talent.

Allowing you to identify and engage with potential candidates wherever they are online, Rally® Inside™ also helps you understand the topics that resonate with your target audiences. This can play a role in focusing your employer brand strategy around your specific goals and ambitions.

Plus, it’s free for a single account user, making it a good entry-level option for smaller employer brand teams with limited budgets.

Employer branding content creation

3. Canva

One of the world’s most recognisable names in content creation, Canva’s wide range of templates and design tools empower your professionals to produce high-quality graphics to support your employer branding efforts.

From infographics and visual storytelling assets for your digital channels, to presentations and posters to inspire your existing employees, Canva can help you maintain brand consistency and generate engaging campaigns for your audiences.

4. Seenit

Did you know that job postings with video content receive 34% more applications than those without it? This makes tools like Seenit incredibly valuable, allowing you to collect, create and distribute user-generated video content from your employees, customers and beyond.

By encouraging your employees to submit video testimonials, behind-the-scenes footage and clips that showcase what it’s like to work at your company, you can develop a library of employer brand videos that capture the imagination of ideal candidates.

Job postings with video content receive 34% more applications - Video and employer brand statistic - Source: Career Builder

5. ChatGPT

As AI continues to evolve and expand our horizons, ChatGPT can greatly speed up the production of written content across your employer brand campaigns, from feeder text on your social posts to job descriptions and email marketing.

With effective prompt engineering, you can train ChatGPT to write in your precise tone of voice, allowing you to go from raw notes to brand-consistent first drafts in minutes. Especially for teams with no dedicated copywriter or content agency, this can feel like a new member of your team.

Employer brand career page development

6. Recruitee

Recruitee is a tool that promises to reduce hiring times and increase the reach of your recruitment campaigns. This includes the ability to create a dedicated careers page through their tried-and-tested templates, empowering you to present a strong employer brand to desired candidates with little effort or coding skills.

Furthermore, Recruitee allows you to automatically post job listings on the most active job boards, including Indeed, Monster and Glassdoor. This again eases the recruitment process, and ensures your ads are where they need to be to attract top talent.

Employer brand online search statistic about people researching a company’s background online - Source: StandOut CV

7. Jobbio

Rather than a careers page, Jobbio encourages its users to create a company channel. Similar to a social media channel, this approach lets you create a distinct profile, share employee-driven content, and gradually build an audience of relevant candidates.

From this channel, you can directly communicate with followers to maximise employee engagement, as well as create an unlimited number of job ads targeted around your ideal candidates’ skills, experience and preferences.

Employer brand social media management

8. Cliquify

Cliquify is an employer branding tool that enables companies to generate assets for their social recruitment campaigns. Primarily a content creation platform, Cliquify’s templates guide your teams to produce on-brand collateral for your various channels, highlighting your company culture, values and achievements.

This solution also allows you to measure and monitor the performance of your social media assets, helping you to refine your campaigns over time.

Around 57% of job seekers use social media to search for new positions - Employer brand social stat - Source: Zippia

Employee advocacy tools

9. Social Sender

It cannot be overstated how valuable your existing employees are to your long-term recruitment efforts – up to 86% of candidates will check employee reviews on Glassdoor before applying. An army of brand ambassadors can greatly elevate your hiring process, and a tool like Social Sender helps you build one.

A dedicated employee advocacy solution, Social Sender makes it simple to send targeted company news, events and posts to relevant employees based on their positions and interests. From here they can push this content on their social networks, sharing positive employee experiences with prospective candidates.

Employee advocacy - Employee opinions are 3 times more credible than a CEO - Source: Qualtrics

10. Sociabble

Another effective employee advocacy tool is Sociabble, a platform offering multichannel content distribution for your employees’ social media channels. Leveraging their networks, this tool extends the reach and awareness of your employer brand through fresh, compelling content delivered by your workforce.

Plus, to keep your team members active advocates, Sociabble adds gamification to this process, letting you track your most effective ambassadors and reward them appropriately.

Papirfly employer branding tools success story - Building a better employer brand and how IBM achieves brand consistency across global recruitment campaigns

11. Brandfolder

Maintaining a consistent employer brand across every channel and location requires a single source of truth for your assets. Brandfolder’s Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution gives you a central repository of on-brand, up-to-date collateral, so your teams worldwide can access the latest approved content for their recruitment campaigns.

With the ability to categorise assets according to type, location, language and much more, your marketing materials stay well-organised and your marketers can identify the assets they require instantaneously.

Employer brand reputation management

12. Employer Brand Index

Candidates want to work with a reputable employer; a perspective backed up by 84% of job seekers who consider reputation before applying for a job opening. The Employer Brand Index (EBI), developed by Link Humans, uses data from over 6,000 user-generated sources to measure what past, present and future employees are saying about your company.

This helps you gain an objective view of your employer brand reputation, benchmark this against your competitors and address any negative feedback directly. With this insight, you can adapt your communications strategy where required on your path to becoming an employer of choice in your industry.

75% of job seekers wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation - Employer brand reputation statistic - Source: LinkedIn

Candidate experience and onboarding tools

13. Olivia by Paradox

Another in the growing wave of employer branding AI tools, Olivia is an innovative assistant designed to optimise candidate capture, screening, scheduling, communication and engagement.

Guided by your brand’s tone of voice and communication strategy, Olivia automatically answers candidates’ questions and eliminates repetitive admin tasks. This streamlined approach frees up time to create a more bespoke, one-to-one recruitment and onboarding experience for each candidate, helping you nurture them into your team.

14. Pathmotion

Pathmotion enables better candidate experiences by letting your existing employees directly engage with your prospects, answer their questions and share content. This supports a more comfortable, seamless onboarding journey for new recruits, and helps candidates self-exclude themselves, saving you time and money on unsuitable applications.

Pathmotion can also host virtual events for candidates, automate nurture emails, send out onboarding materials, and integrate with your company and employee social media channels. This makes it a great tool to build a community between your current team and your future hires.

Employer branding tools - Candidate experience stats - Sources: Career Builder, LinkedIn and Recruiting Brief

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

15. Greenhouse

Greenhouse is an excellent Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that helps you present candidates with a consistent, reassuring experience. To do this, the platform includes several features, including:

  • Talent sourcing that scales with your organisation
  • Customisable career sites and application processes
  • Tracking for candidate interactions and communications
  • Schedules for follow-up activities and onboarding activities
  • Smoother talent acquisition workflows
  • Candidate scoreboards for better hiring decisions

It also tracks and measures several key employer branding metrics, including time-to-fill positions, cost-per-hire and candidate conversion rates.

16. TalentLyft

Another effective ATS solution is TalentLyft. This system can reduce the time associated with posting job ads, screening applications and scheduling interviews through one all-inclusive platform. Handling this all through one portal helps you preserve consistency across both your employer branding and candidate experience.

TalentLyft also enables you to track applications to measure the performance of your job adverts, and create a branded career site illustrating your company’s values, culture and mission.

86% of recruiters say using Applicant Tracking Systems reduced time-to-hire - Source: GetApp

17. Monday.com

In our attempts to achieve more for less, Monday.com promises to significantly increase the efficiency and productivity of your employer brand workflows. Through this planning platform, your teams can gain a bird’s-eye view over all tasks, from individual job postings to large-scale recruitment campaigns.

For optimal productivity, Monday.com lets you hone in on each distinct task of your employer brand initiatives. This empowers you to manage your resources more effectively, and keeps everyone aware of what must be done and when.

Employer brand analytics and reporting

18. Ongig

Want to know if your employer branding efforts are reaping results? Ongig offers up this valuable insight by scoring your job descriptions and adverts in real-time, suggesting improvements to support your diversity, equity and inclusivity (DE&I) hiring.

In addition to analysing the performance of your content, it offers templates for future job postings, and handles the publishing of hundreds (or even thousands) of job adverts automatically.

Can you have too many employer brand tools?

These 18 employer branding tools merely scratch the surface of what’s available to help you attract, recruit and retain the best available talent. Hopefully, this has helped you consider where you can streamline your processes and unlock your brand’s potential.

However, a word of warning. While these tools can benefit your employer branding in numerous ways, introducing too many can become a detriment to your long-term recruitment efforts. That’s because an abundance of employer brand solutions can:

  • Increase the complexity of managing your brand and campaigns
  • Confuse your employees with too many logins
  • Eat away at your budget
  • Make maintenance and upgrades a hassle to complete
  • Require significant amounts of time to train your teams
  • Cause inconsistent messaging on your various channels

To strengthen your talent acquisition efforts, it’s important to thoroughly research the right technology for your needs, prioritising solutions that fulfil multiple requirements in one platform.

And consider, if you do choose to invest in your employer brand, be sure to think about integration. If you can seamlessly bring solutions together into one united platform, activating your employer brand becomes a lot less complicated.

Make your employer brand work for your business - Link to Papirfly guide

Take steps to activate your employer brand

Technology can play a valuable role in the reach, consistency and performance of your employer brand. But, this must be accompanied by a well-constructed employer brand strategy, high-quality assets and the support of your existing employees.

If you’d like to learn more about how to attract and retain top talent in this highly competitive landscape, read our ultimate employer branding guide.

Table of contents:

  1. 18 employer branding tools to check out in 2024
  2. Can you have too many employer brand tools?
  3. Take steps to activate your employer brand
Employer brand

Your essential guide to consistent social media branding for 2024

For better or worse, social media networks are an integral part of our lives – and channels that modern marketers must master.

Why? Because over 5 billion people worldwide use social media channels at least once per month – a figure that is expected to touch 6 billion by 2027. As a result, it’s one of the main avenues for brands to communicate directly with their consumers, tell stories and build trust with their audience.

That makes a strong, consistent social media brand incredibly valuable. Not only does it ensure your audiences can recognise your brand’s identity – they can also get to know your values. Any break in uniformity risks eroding these delicate relationships.

In this essential guide, we’ll outline how you can sustain a consistent brand voice across your social profiles, and share our top tips to enhance your long-term social media marketing strategy.

What is social media branding?

Social media branding is how you utilise your social networks to grow, promote and evolve your brand’s identity. Put simply, it’s how you choose to portray your brand on social media.

With how prevalent these platforms are in modern society, this is very likely where someone first encounters your brand. So, the content on your profiles must be crafted and curated to clearly share your values and personality, in the same way you would approach your website or general advertising.

Social media branding statistic - 85% of consumers use social media to research new brands - Source: Tintupt

What are the key elements of social media branding?

An effective social media brand must get several key aspects correct to successfully resonate with audiences.

Consistency: You must maintain a consistent tone, style, and visual identity across your social media posts to reinforce brand recognition and trust.

Content creation: You must develop and share relevant and compelling types of content, including imagery and video content, that connects with people and aligns with your branding.

Engagement: You must actively interact with followers, responding to comments, messages, and mentions to foster relationships and build long-term loyalty.

Brand voice: You must establish a distinct, authentic brand voice that reflects your organisation’s personality and values.

Community building: You must cultivate a community through user-generated content (UGC) and create opportunities for your followers to participate and support your brand.

5 key elements of social media branding - Brand consistency, content creation, engagement, brand voice and community building

While each element is important, brand consistency is the most essential piece of the puzzle – and often the most challenging to enforce.

The importance of social media brand consistency

Consistency is the base for any stable, trustworthy relationship. The relationship between you and your social media followers is no different. 

Today’s consumers want to trust the brands they buy from. They want to feel they share the same values, speak the same language, and have comparable priorities. Especially on social media, which has always been a more “personal” environment, many people use these platforms to understand brands rather than buy from them.

This is why brand consistency is so vital on these channels. If your followers get mixed messages from your content, or markedly different experiences when they communicate with your brand through social media, they start to question what your brand stands for.

Questioning breeds mistrust, and mistrust is a slippery slope to losing followers and brand recognition.

Brand consistency and social media statistics - Papirfly infographic

Beyond damaging the trust of your followers, an inconsistent social media presence can also make your organisation appear unprofessional. If your posts deviate from your primary brand colours, mix up typographies or constantly change formats, it reflects a lack of internal organisation. And nobody wants to buy from a brand that appears disjointed.

Further problems caused by inconsistency on your social media platforms include:

  • Followers failing to recall your brand when in the market for your products and services
  • Reduced engagement and interaction with your posts from your followers
  • Less effective paid social campaigns alongside your organic content
  • Weakening your overall brand equity
6 challenges to staying brand-consistent on social media

How often should I post on social media to maintain brand consistency?

Brand consistency doesn’t simply apply to the quality of your content or how you communicate with your audiences. You should also be consistent in how frequently you post on social media.

People are creatures of habit – if they enjoy your content, they will carve out the time to seek it out. But, if you take a scattergun approach to scheduling content, users won’t be able to track it accordingly. Think of it like your favourite TV show – if new episodes came out at a random date and time each week, would you be following it as closely?

With so many social media channels, each with different audiences and algorithms, how often you post must be adjusted accordingly. Here’s a quick guide based on best practices:

Social media branding advice - Optimal posting frequencies for major social networks

Of course, your understanding of your audience will dictate whether you post more or less frequently. Nevertheless, a set calendar for when and where your posts are published will help ensure a consistent experience for your followers.

8 tips for building a consistent social media branding strategy

1. Lock down your brand identity and goals

First, the key to consistency on social media is having your purpose, mission, values and identity nailed down before sharing your first post. Every relevant person on your team, from your dedicated social media brand manager, to marketers in your local outlets, should fully understand what your brand stands for.

Now, your social media brand may vary slightly from your other marketing channels depending on your goals for these platforms. Do you want to raise brand awareness? Do you intend to generate leads? Is it simply a means for your customers to message your brand?

Whatever your social media brand represents, centralise it in one all-encompassing brand hub. From here, your teams worldwide can access digital brand guidelines, style guides and more to ensure any marketing materials they produce align with your core branding and overarching goals.

2. Establish your target audience

Next, consider your target audience – who are your posts communicating with?

  • How old are they?
  • Where do they spend their time online and offline?
  • Which platforms are they likely to use?
  • What are their pain points?

This may not be straightforward to answer as different social channels attract different audiences. For instance, younger consumers lean towards platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, while Facebook has now cultivated an older user base.

Establishing personas for every social network you intend to use will help keep your messaging aligned with their specific wants and preferences, while remaining within your brand guidelines.

3. Define your social media channels

Based on what you know about your audiences, this should help you define what channels to devote your efforts to. It’s unlikely your ideal customers will be active on every social channel, so this will help you streamline your content and focus your attention on the areas where you stand to make the greatest gains.

For example, LinkedIn is a go-to platform for B2B businesses, but may hold less value for B2C organisations.

Being selective with your social media channels also empowers your teams to fully understand these platforms – their nuances, their best-performing types of content, their ideal posting times. This knowledge will allow you to optimise your content accordingly, so it reaches the right audiences at the right times, all while telling a compelling, consistent story.

The average person uses approximately 7 social media networks every month - Source: DataReportal

4. Create a social content calendar

As we noted earlier, consistency applies just as much to the frequency of your posts as it does to the quality of your visual content. With this in mind, creating a social calendar helps ensure that your channels maintain the regularity your audiences expect.

Here are a few best practices when setting up your schedule:

  • Develop a variety of content themes and pillars (educational, entertainment, promotional, etc.) and spread these out to keep your feeds engaging
  • Research each platform you use to determine their most optimal posting times
  • Follow the 80/20 rule when producing content, with 80% of your content providing value and 20% promoting your goods or services
  • Leave capacity for user-generated content, special announcements and more
  • Highlight noteworthy holidays, relevant events and awareness dates to tailor content for these occasions

5. Build social post templates

Creating consistent brand assets demands dependable templates. While easily accessible brand guidelines help keep everyone on the same page, intelligent templates make this second nature for your social media teams, ensuring they cannot deviate from your visual identity.

As well as locking down the position of your logo, brand colours, design elements and more, branded design templates enable you to create real-time marketing materials for your various channels and locations. Your templates can match the optimal size and layout of each platform, and enable users to switch up the language or imagery for different countries and cultures.

Fundamentally, templates empower your social media marketers to work faster, confidently and cost-effectively, all while preventing inconsistencies.

Papirfly’s brand management platform benefits for social media - 80% reduced effort in asset creation and $200 reduction in agency spend per asset

6. Produce communication guidelines

Consistency on social media goes beyond your day-to-day feeds – it’s how you communicate with followers one-to-one. Any difference in tone or experience when answering a user’s comment or replying to a private message can be just as damaging to their overall impression of your brand.

By developing communication guidelines for those responsible for engaging with your followers, you can keep these messages consistent with your values and tone of voice. This may include set responses for particular scenarios, such as how to respond to a complaint or negative comment, or what user posts it’s okay for your platform to share and comment on.

Responsive engagement is integral to the performance of your social media strategy – and an approach that will keep your tone aligned with your overarching goals and identity.

7. Set up a home for your digital assets

If your company has teams spread worldwide, consistency is a real challenge. It only takes one rogue post to disrupt your communications and damage your reputation with your followers. That’s why it’s useful to have everyone in your organisation working from the same bank of digital assets.

Intelligent templates and a central brand hub can help achieve this, but Digital Asset Management (DAM) provides an added layer of protection. These solutions provide a repository where users can store and access all approved social assets, and from here adapt them for local audiences.

With this “single source of truth” for your social media brand, you can publish on-brand collateral across any platform, and maintain a birds-eye view over the consistency of your assets. Plus, these digital libraries enable you to tag and categorise assets, so your teams can find what they need faster and easier:

8 ways to categorise social media assets on a DAM system - Infographic image

By managing your digital assets effectively, you can lock down consistency across every social media channel and campaign, without proofing-related bottlenecks.

8. Monitor your social media channels

Finally, you should monitor and track your social media channels multiple times a day. Whenever a post is scheduled for release, you should check that it’s been published correctly and give it one final sense-check for consistent tone and appearance.

If you’ve taken all the previous steps, this should be a mere formality. However, inconsistencies can still slip through the cracks, and frequent monitoring allows you to react to any problems swiftly before they cause any harm to your brand reputation.

Plus, if your posts receive any negative comments or feedback, regular monitoring enables you to respond quickly with a well-crafted reply. This engagement shows your audience that you listen to feedback and don’t attempt to sweep negative reviews under the rug.

 Learn how real-time marketing materials elevate your social media strategy - Link to Papirfly guide

The future of social media branding

Even as the world becomes more critical of the role social media plays in shaping our minds and behaviours, its evolution is one that marketers will be keen to keep up with. 

While there’s no way of knowing exactly where social media marketing will be in as little as 10 months – as the number of users continues to grow and these platforms mature, the power of social media is only going to become more prolific. 

Of course, the number of brands entering the social media landscape will rise too. To stand out amidst an expanding sea of content, it’s going to take a remarkable strategy and team – one where intelligent, on-brand templating is at the centre.

Maintain a consistent social media presence on all platforms with Papirfly

Brand consistency is a core mark of trust and quality for consumers across the globe. Maintaining a coordinated presence on your social platforms keeps your reputation with followers strong, and ensures your organisation’s values, personality and visual identity are delivered to your audiences exactly as intended.

The challenges of multichannel marketing and the content demands of social networks can make consistency an ongoing problem. The techniques outlined in this guide will help you stay on top of your day-to-day posts, so nothing on your feeds drifts away from your core brand identity – even campaigns focused on local markets.

When supported by a reliable brand management platform, you’ll never need to question the consistency of your social media channels again – and empower your teams to produce assets cost-efficiently to satisfy your content-hungry followers.